Shandong Yulong Gold Co said on Friday it had agreed to acquire Australian gold miner Barto Industry Co from fellow Chinese firm Shandong Tianye by assuming the target company’s debt of 1.22 billion yuan ($188 million).
Shandong Yulong Gold, which used to make steel pipes before changing its name and business focus, said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange its Lanjing Mining subsidiary would acquire 100% of Barto and control its gold mining operations in Western Australia.
The deal still requires a number of approvals, including from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, the filing said. Developed gold-rich countries such as Australia and Canada have increased their scrutiny of transactions made by acquisitive Chinese firms over the past year.
Barto’s operations, in the Southern Cross greenstone belt, are currently managed on behalf of Shandong Tianye by West Perth-based explorer Minjar Gold, which is targeting producing gold from the assets at an annualised rate of 160,000 ounces by this year.
($1 = 6.4945 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(By Tom Daly; Editing by Paul Simao)